Meeting in special session Tuesday, the Tahoma School Board voted unanimously to hire retired Tahoma Superintendent Mike Maryanski to serve as interim superintendent through the end of the current school year. He will begin on Nov. 1.
The board’s decision also means that Acting Superintendent Lori Cloud will return to her position as Assistant Superintendent and Director of Finance and Operations. The School Board decided to seek a retired superintendent to guide the district on an interim basis when none of the district’s current administrators expressed interest in the position, which opened as a result of former Superintendent Tony Giurado’s resignation on Sept. 30.
Board President Didem Pierson said the candidate criteria the board agreed upon led them to reach out to Maryanski. Board members interviewed him during an executive session Monday morning.
“It’s important for us that the person that came in at this point is someone that knows our system, works within our system and understands our culture and values what we value,” Pierson said. “And so Mike’s name emerged.”
Board Director Val Paganelli said she does not yet know Maryanski well, but came away from Monday’s meeting with a clear understanding of his commitment to Tahoma.
“What I walked away with is yes, he is someone who deeply cares about the system,” she said. “He deeply cares about the students in the system and the supports around those students.”
Board Director Tami Henkel said she looks forward to working with Maryanski again as the board begins a transition when two new directors are elected Nov. 5.
“He built many of the structures our school district is built on and I think he will get us back on track,” she said.
The School Board will conduct a formal search for a permanent superintendent during the current school year.
Maryanski’s education career began in 1970 as an elementary school teacher in Tahoma. He later moved into administrative roles in Tahoma and became deputy superintendent in 1989. He was appointed superintendent by the School Board in 1994. During Maryanski’s time as superintendent, Tahoma made significant academic improvements as it grew from a rural school district of seven schools and fewer than 5,000 students through the passage of two bond measures and substantial growth. The district now has nine schools and more than 8,600 students. Maryanski retired at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year.
Maryanski has deep roots in this area. He grew up in Auburn and attended Auburn High School. He graduated from Central Washington University and obtained his master’s degree from the University of Washington.
Maryanski’s community involvement is extensive. He was honored this month by the City of Maple Valley for his service to the community when the city formally dedicated the “Papa Bear” statue in the roundabout at Tahoma High School. “Papa Bear” is Maryanski’s nickname, reflective of his years of dedication to the students in the Tahoma School District.
His community service includes membership in Rotary International, the Greater Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce, and Maple Valley Communities That Care. In 2004, he was inducted as a member of the Association of Washington Generals in recognition of his contributions to the community.